Roorbach, William (1953 - )

Genre: General Fiction, Non-Fiction, Short Stories

Bill Roorbach and his wife and daughter live in Farmington, Maine, which Roorbach says reminds him of the 1950s Connecticut in which he was raised.

Roorbach attended Ithaca College in the 1970s, then played piano in bands, traveled widely, worked as a bartender, and briefly on a cattle ranch. He received his M.F.A. in fiction writing from Columbia University in 1990.

For four years (1991-1995), he taught non-fiction writing at the University of Maine at Farmington. He recently was associate professor in Ohio State University's Master of Fine Art writing program and fiction editor of the Ohio State University Press, quitting this job to write full time in Farmington soon after his daughter was born.

He's also taught at the University of Vermont Summer Writing Program (1995-1999), Stone Coast Writers Conference (1993, 1994), Maine Publishers and Writers Alliance conferences (1992, 1994, 1998, 2001), Cape Cod Writers Conference (2000), and others.

His work, both fiction and nonfiction, has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Granta, New York Magazine, Poets and Writers, The Iowa Review, Witness, Newsday, and others. Honors include a MacDowell Colony fellowship, a Bread Loaf Fellowship in Creative Nonfiction, and two Ohio Arts Councils Grants (both 1999), one in Creative Nonfiction, one in Criticism, as well as a 2002 National Endowment for the Arts Creative Writing Fellowship.

Selected Bibliography

  • Summers with Juliet (1992)
  • Writing Life Stories: How to Make Memories into Memoirs, Ideas into Essays, and Life into Literature (1998)
  • Big Bend (2001) (winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction)
  • The Smallest Color (2001)
  • Into Woods and Other Essays, a sequel to Summers With Juliet (2002)
  • Temple Stream: A Rural Odyssey (2005)
  • Life Among Giants: A Novel (2012) winner, 2013 Maine Literary Awards Book Award for Fiction